Do your life look more like the works of the flesh or the fruits of the Spirit?
Certainly many of us who call ourselves Christians would immediately say “the fruits of the Spirit, of course”…but would that be an accurate answer?
Would your friends on Facebook agree with your answer? Or would they see the things you post and call you a liar?
Brothers and sisters, do not deceive yourselves. WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.
Let’s look to the Word of God to see how we should live. Here is Galatians 5:16-26 (emphasis mine):
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Let me ask you this brothers and sisters: Which one describes your political discourse online?
Are you loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled?
Or are you committing idolatry by placing your hope in Trump or Biden instead of Jesus? Are you filled with hatred for “those people” and constantly fighting with them online (in other words, enmity & strife)? Are you prone to outbursts (or fits) of anger when debating with others about politics? Do you consider yourself a part of THIS group and everyone that disagrees with you is part of THAT group like a rivalry, dissension, or division?
Christian, these are not the fruits of the spirit. They are the works of the flesh. The Word is clear in Galatians 5:21 – those that do such things will NOT inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
No, honestly examine yourself. Pray to God and ask the Holy Spirit to examine your heart and reveal to you where you fall short.
We can’t expect spirit-filled behavior from those that don’t know Christ, but for those that follow Him, we should be marked by the Holy Spirit. We should be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled.
I was recently listening to the Southside Rabbi podcast and KB & Ameen brought up a good point: We only have so many chances with our witness before we completely destroy it. In other words, if we go around touting Trump as the savior of America or Biden as the savior of America, when they fail to save America (because they both will), how trustworthy do we seem when we tell the world about Jesus being the Savior of all?
If you use the same energy that you use for the Gospel for politics and conspiracy theories, you devalue the Gospel to just another coping mechanism.
Brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ demands more of us than that.
He is NOT just another coping mechanism. We commit blasphemy when we, as those who have died to the world and live in Christ, say “the most important thing right now is the election, but by the way, Jesus died on the cross for your sins”.
Where is your hope?
Is it TRULY in Christ? Will you accept that God’s will is done, no matter who is president? Or will you say “this is God’s judgment” if your guy doesn’t win?
Don’t get me wrong. It may very well be…but it’s STILL God’s will.
Stop putting America on this pedestal, Church! We are NOT the point. The Bible does not revolve around us.
It revolves around HIM.
So, what do we do as Christians? We vote our conscious (in good stewardship of our citizenship). We vote in accordance with the Bible (not just what our preferred political party would agree with). We seek protect the marginalized (yes, to unborn babies AND to those targeted by police brutality. YES TO BOTH).
We live according to the fruits of the spirits and not the works of the flesh. We humble ourselves, admitting that we can be wrong and only God is right 100% of the time (as I’ve mentioned in the past, I’ve been both a diehard Republican and a diehard Democrat and I have found both LACKING).
We agree to disagree on our opinions and lock arms with brothers and sisters who differ in opinions, but agree to important tenets of the faith. We pray alongside them, worship alongside them, do good alongside them, and love them as brothers and sisters.
We seek to glorify God above all else.
So then, examine yourself.
Your Christian witness is at stake.
Let us be good stewards of the witness God has given us.
Grace & Peace,